Photo taken in:1994Year when photo was taken:1994Country name at time of photo:MoldovaCountry name today:Moldova
This is me by the monument to the victims of the Jewish pogrom, speaking at a meeting dedicated to the anniversary of the pogrom. This photo was taken in Kishinev in 1994. The chairman of the Jewish community of Moldova, Semyon Shoichet, is behind me.
When Perestroika began, I had positive feelings about it, but then the situation changed and the results were not quite as expected… The Jewish life has revived and improved since the start of Perestroika. The society of Jewish culture was established in 1989 and I was a part of it. My students, the Kishinev writers Boris Sandler, Mikhail Lemster and I were among its organizers. There are other writers, who think I am their teacher: Mikhail Felzenbaum, a very good poet, Zicia Veitzman, Jean Krivoy. The Jewish newspaper ‘Nash golos’ [Our Voice in Russian] was established in Kishinev then. It was published in Russian, but there was one page in Yiddish and I had Yiddish publications in this newspaper.
Thirteen years ago [in 1991] the Yiddish center at the Kishinev Jewish Library was established. I was elected its chairman. We gather every month. I read lectures about Jewish literature and writers. Besides, I was acquainted with many writers I lecture about. I never write essays about the writers I don’t know in person. I only write about those, with whom I was friends. We conduct our meetings in Yiddish and only those whose Yiddish is not sufficiently good make speeches in Russian. Hesed Jehudah provides assistance to me like it does to many other Jews. My wife and I receive food packages. I often make speeches, when Hesed invites me to its events.